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Author Topic: The Swarm Left & Came Back...How to Collect HELP!  (Read 2655 times)
DayValleyDahlias
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« on: March 04, 2008, 05:29:08 PM »

Oh I thought the bees had gone, but I heard the hum again and saw all the bees swarming to a small oak tree on my land...if they stay there til late afternoon how do I collect them off of a trunk?  Spray with sugarsyrup or smoke or both???  Do O brush them into the hive body???  How do I get them off a trunk??
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pdmattox
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008, 05:36:51 PM »

on the trunk I would brush them into the hive body. To make sure the queen stays you could put a frame of brood in the hive and place a queen excluder in between the hive body and bottom board.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2008, 05:38:44 PM »

This could be another swarm and the other has gone bye bye.

If the tree is small enough, you could sit a bottom board on the ground next to the tree. Queen excluder and then hive body. If tree is small enough, spray the bees and hit tree hard enough, close to the bees, to knock them down, hopefully getting most in the box. Look for the queen on the ground if bees fall there. They will cluster around her. Look on the tree if bees are still there. If you find her put her in the box.
Could use paper as a funnel and brush them into the box.
Think outside the box and get the bees in the box.
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008, 05:47:33 PM »

They just now are settling in and they are angry little cusses, should I wait until 4:30pm or so?  Should I smoke them or spray them with sugar??

I am going to take the hive body down there after they calm down a bit,and hopefully they will like it before I even get to placing them in a box...hhhmmm Whooo
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pdmattox
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008, 05:52:02 PM »

I would not worry about smoke or spraying them. waiting till just before dark probally will be good.
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deejaycee
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2008, 05:53:21 PM »

Don't smoke em.  Smoking is done to induce bees to eat honey and fill their stomaches to ride out the coming forest fire  - so they'll hunker down and not bother you working.

swarms don't have any honey to eat, so it won't work to calm them but may convince them they're in danger enough to get em flying again.
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2008, 06:05:24 PM »

GREAT job!!!! Congats on your new liitle family.
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buzzbee
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2008, 06:08:28 PM »

If thye've been loose for quite a while and are hungry,spraying with  sugar water wont hurt!!
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deejaycee
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2008, 06:13:56 PM »

I'd let em settle if it were me.  If there's a lot on the wing you don't want the queen to get it in her mind to fly too, or you'll lose the lot.

While they're calming down, get your gear ready.  Base, two brood boxes - five frames of comb or foundation in the bottom one (you'll put the rest of the frames in once the bees are in - the five frames just give them something to sit on without getting too crowded while they're all tumbling in), and the top one empty - and a roof.  Put a queen excluder between the base and bottom box if you like.  Remember that excluder's got to come off in a day or two though - if you've got a virgin queen she's got to be able to get out to mate or she'll be no good to you.  That's what puts me in two minds about using an excluder like that - nice in theory, but I prefer to leave a swarm alone for a good week after I hive em to let em settle down.   Brush,  ladder if you need so you can get comfortably close to brush them down, and full protective gear - you don't know how they're going to like being manhandled.  Some sugar syrup to spray them with might be handy, but it'd be nice to have a feeder of syrup in the hive at least to help them settle otherwise - I drizzle syrup on the frame topbars once I've got em in to give them something to clean up and play with.

Depending on how high they are something to set the hive on might be helpful, or I use a sheet that I can tie/lay over adjacent branches to form sort of a catcher/slide under the swarm right into the hive box - very helpful if you have branches under the one they've settled on that would stop them dropping straight into your hive.

then it's just a matter of getting the hive as close as you can, sheet slide in place if you need, and sweep em in.   Be firm with your brush - better to get the whole cluster in a couple of sweeps than try and be too gentle and get them all in the air while you flutter away at them.

The purpose of the top brood box, unless they're a big swarm, is just to give you some higher walls on the hive so you've got a better chance of keeping them in once you've swept them in, so unless it's a really big swarm once you've got them in you can take that box off, put in your feeder and frames to fill, and slap yer roof on.

A frame of brood if you've got some handy is good to help them settle, but mine have done fine without.

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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2008, 06:26:02 PM »

i have seen the sheet thing and it's pretty slick.  just a big white flat sheet to brush them on to.  lay down sheet.  put hive on sheet.  bush bees into hive.  try for queen, but they may just enter hive if you are lucky.  a little something in the hive to entice them won't hurt.

i also found that a stiff piece of plastic sheet was handy if i had to get a clump...like the clump with the queen.  you can scoot the whole clump onto the plastic and dump it in the hive. 

what a great experience for you.  i have not gotten to do this yet.  keep details since you don't have a camera!!
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2008, 06:34:20 PM »

Well I went down and sprayed them with sugar syrup, seemed to calm them...I tried to brush them into the box...not so easy...so I came in to cool down, then will try again...I have some drawn comb inthe hive body and an excluder between the sbb and body...they are low to the ground and it is a tricky situation...there are tons of bees I tried to see where the queen might be...no dice...ugh...moer soon...
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2008, 06:52:44 PM »

Remember that excluder's got to come off in a day or two though - if you've got a virgin queen she's got to be able to get out to mate or she'll be no good to you.  That's what puts me in two minds about using an excluder like that - nice in theory, but I prefer to leave a swarm alone for a good week after I hive em to let em settle down. 

I have had two nice swarms all boxed up, without a queen excluder. About sundown they were gone. They had other plans. Cry
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deejaycee
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008, 07:20:21 PM »

Lemongrass oil - that's what I forgot to put in the list.  All my swarm gear gets a few drops of lemongrass oil on top of frames, inside of boxes, etc.  It's strong stuff - a few drops is all you need.

If I was putting a swarm in immediately I'd use even less.  A drop or two on a tissue wiped around over the wood.
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deejaycee
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2008, 07:23:03 PM »

Remember that excluder's got to come off in a day or two though - if you've got a virgin queen she's got to be able to get out to mate or she'll be no good to you.  That's what puts me in two minds about using an excluder like that - nice in theory, but I prefer to leave a swarm alone for a good week after I hive em to let em settle down. 

I have had two nice swarms all boxed up, without a queen excluder. About sundown they were gone. They had other plans. Cry

That's a blow. Sad  Everyone tells me I've been lucky with my swarms.  I am considering trying the queen excluder trick next season, but for me it's going to depend on where I end up putting the swarms - this year they've been at a yard some kms away and I've had a very young baby, so I've not been able to base anything on being able to get to a hive on a set schedule.  Next season I'll be more mobile and the queen excluder might be worth trying as an insurance policy.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2008, 07:26:29 PM »

Lemongrass oil

Yes that was in one of them. And they left.

And I have had bees abandon brood to return to the place I cut them out of.
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deejaycee
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2008, 07:39:36 PM »

I think bees from a cutout are going to be very different in temperament from a swarm as a matter of course.

In a cutout you've got a bunch of bees being forcibly evicted from their home that they'd had no inclination to leave prior. 

With a swarm you've got a bunch of bees actively looking for new accommodations. 

Cripes, if the first instance happened to me I'd pack my bags and head for home at the first opportunity.  But if I was homeless on the street I'd be happy to move into a house that met my basic needs.  Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2008, 10:14:01 PM »

Heres how I rmoved my low swarm:
http://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l65/kwrabbit/Swarm%20captures/
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2008, 10:37:22 PM »

[I think bees from a cutout are going to be very different in temperament from a swarm as a matter of course.]

There certain is a difference in morel between a swarm and cut-out.
There is an entire different degree of contentment too.
There is nearly an absent sense of defense of a branch swarm.
A cut out during a dearth at the heat of the day wants you DEAD.

This swarm thread has lasted soooo long.... I could have flown to California, gather the bees, got inspected, flown home, and raised 3 brood cycles in the time since this has started.

It will put the bees in the box or it gets the hose.

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Cindi
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2008, 10:55:32 PM »

This swarm thread has lasted soooo long.... I could have flown to California, gather the bees, got inspected, flown home, and raised 3 brood cycles in the time since this has started.

It will put the bees in the box or it gets the hose.

Jeff, not sure why you said that?  Some threads get going on for a long time because there are some very interesting comments that come on here and that is good.  Have a beautiful and grateful day, Cindi
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2008, 10:58:33 PM »

Sharon, tell us more.  I wanna hear the final outcome.  When I caught the swarm last summer, I basically pushed the bees from the limb into a light carboard box that I had built, it is a good box, but I am going to make one even better and lighter this year (or should I say, I am going to ask my Husband to).  The bees got pushed in easily and the queen was there because the bees stayed. I placed a queen excluder between the bottom board and the hive body too, though, after reading about the swams taking off again after being hived.  Eeeks, that would be rather disconcerting for sure.  I removed the excluder when I saw that the queen was laying eggs.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, love our life.  CIndi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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